Coronavirus stimulus: House Democrat says President Trump's executive order threats are mostly empty

Denitsa Tsekova
·Reporter
·3 mins read

With President Trump officially stating that he’s exploring the possibility of enacting executive orders for some provisions of the stimulus deal, more lawmakers have cast doubt on his authority to do so.

Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI) said that the president might not be able to do those things unilaterally.

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference in the Capitol. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference in the Capitol. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“The president has unique perspectives on the executive authority that he possesses,” Kildee said on Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round (video above). “I don’t think he has the authority to do many of the things he says ... He often stops short of actually taking action.”

As Congress nears the end of the second week of negotiations for the next stimulus package without reaching an agreement, President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that he’s preparing to sign an executive order on some of the provisions of the deal.

Kildee said he hopes that Democrats can rely on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “to actually take some serious steps” and for the president to go along.

“I've gotten to the point where I just don't listen to what he says anymore,” Kildee said about Trump. “I only look to his actions and a tweet or a speech doesn't quite make policy.”

The one thing the president can do is to extend the moratorium’

Trump’s authority to sign executive orders on those provisions has been questioned not only by Democrats but also by White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow.

“We have got to fix and extend the unemployment issue right now,” Kudlow said on Tuesday. “I don't think that can be done administratively. I think that requires an act of Congress.”

As for the payroll tax cut that the president has been suggesting, experts have said that he has limited authority to postpone the employee side of the payroll but not to suspend it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer make their way to a news conference on coronavirus aid in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, August 6. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer make their way to a news conference on coronavirus aid in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, August 6. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“Congress has to pass tax laws, not the president,” Seth Hanlon, a tax-policy expert at the Center for American Progress, previously told Yahoo Money. “He has limited authority to postpone tax filing and payment deadlines, in instances of disasters.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also weighed on the president’s authority on those matters.

“The one thing the president can do is to extend the moratorium,” she said at a press conference on Thursday. “And that would be a good thing if there's money to go with it.”

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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.

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